Love It or Hate It? 1978 Ford Mustang II Ghia

G-G-G-Ghia! (Try to get the Chia song out of your head now!) Here’s possibly the nicest 1978 Ford Mustang II Ghia that I’ve run across in a long time. Thanks to Rocco B for alerting us to this one! It’s posted on Craigslist in Lancaster, California for $4,999. You would go totally unnoticed in a $4,999 late-model used car, probably in black, white, silver, or gray, compared to this beautiful blue Mustang II. This car will turn some heads in modern traffic.

In much the same way that Harley guys usually don’t like vintage Japanese bikes, it seems like the vast majority of muscle car guys and gals don’t like the Mustang II. Of course, some of them do like these cars and they can appreciate them when they’re preserved in this condition after so many decades. My argument is that any real car guy or gal likes anything and everything, or at least they can appreciate every vehicle no matter the origin, make, model, horsepower, etc. Life is too short to worry about what anyone else thinks about a particular vehicle that you may like, much the same way that most parents tell their kids to not worry about what anyone else says or thinks. Just do it, man, don’t let them drag you down! Once that’s realized, it makes it so much easier to ride your tiny, oddball minibike or drive your Mustang II and not give a darn what anyone else thinks about it! If you have confidence in yourself you don’t need anyone else’s “approval” for liking the vehicles that you like. Enough soapbox chatter, back to this great car!

So yeah, about this car.. It looks good, eh? I mean, yeah, the wheels are tiny, but other than that this thing is so well-preserved. 1978 was the last year for this body style and having won Motor Trend’s Car of the Year upon its debut in 1974, it had a good run. If this was a 1978-only King Cobra version in this condition for $4,999 it would be a heck of a find.

There are no photos of the driver’s side interior so, as always, I assume the worst. The passenger side door panel and back seat both look pretty much like new, so hopefully the driver’s seat and dash, and interior, in general, are all in the same sort of condition as the rest of the interior is in. And, a bonus: this car has a 4-speed manual transmission with a new clutch! It also has a new battery and new tires, and even the clock works.

No 4-popper here, this is Ford’s Cologne 2.8L V6 with 90 hp. The 4-speed will help move this 2,900-pound car along fairly nicely with modern traffic. But, a car like this, of this vintage and spec, most likely would be a fun, weekend car. It wouldn’t be a daily-driver or a cross-country road trip vehicle. It could be used for those functions, I’m guessing, but it’ll most likely be someone’s weekend around-town car. Which camp are you in: love it or hate it when it comes to the Mustang II?

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  1. Poppy

    Great survivor condition. Can anyone comment on the authenticity of hood pins and faux hood scoop on a Ghia?

    • PaulbZ3

      The hood pins are not OEM and the hood scoop may be a Ford item off of a cobra model but not part of any Ghia package and not likely functional. Being in the rust belt and the addition of the hood scoop, I’d look to see if the car has been painted. Had many great experiences with Mustang II’s and this one looks pretty good for the money. 4 speed is a plus and not hard to swap a 5 speed in there for better highway mileage

      • Rx7Turbo II

        Rust belt? I know here in Illinois we are in the Rust Belt but this car is located in California. Is there a rust belt in California as well??

      • Rich S Member

        Rust belt in Calif is anywhere near the ocean.

    • Blyndgesser

      That scoop is from a 1980 Turbo Fairmont. It ruins the lines completely.

    • Joe Backer

      Also not Ford Factory is the higher white door ding protector. I hope they didn’t glue or even drill into the doors for that.

  2. Mark

    Mustang IIs don’t even deserve to be called mustangs! They were poor compromise that was under engineered, underpowered and butt ugly!

    • Blyndgesser

      Ugly, sure. Underpowered, sure, as was every car made for the US market in the mid 1970s. But not as poorly engineered as the original 1964.5 Mustang.

    • Dr. D

      “Mustang IIs don’t even deserve to be called mustangs! ”

      I agree. I was 9 years old when this car was new, and I didn’t like it then either.

      This is a real Mustang about as much as cousin Oliver was a real member of the Brady Bunch.

  3. Jooper

    A lot of 80’s HS kids first cars were Mustang II’s, $600 would buy one as nice as this….As for this one, great color, horrible back seat, and are those 12″ rims?!!

    • jwinters

      they had 13 inch wheels.

  4. DG

    Exactly. The reason most muscle car fans hate the Mustang II is because its not a real Mustang. Its a Pinto with some Mustang styling cues thrown in. Which is why Ford callously called it a “Mustang II”. As in, its a Mustang, too. I can see you waxing eloquent about a Mach 1 fastback with a 302 in it. At least with some aftermarket parts you could make something of a sleeper out of it. But a V6 powered Ghia notch? A pristine turd, is still a turd. lol.

    • Don

      I guess you don’t like the first mustangs ,they were basically falcons with a fancy body😂

      • Dr. D

        Except the Falcon was actually a good and desirable car in its own right. I’d be as happy to drive a Ford Falcon Sprint as much as a ’65 Mustang.

        Similarly I would be as disappointed driving a Mustang II as I would a Pinto.

      • Stephanie

        Mustang II s had very little in common with the Pinto by the time they reached production . These are great handling, light weight cars with lots of potential

  5. jwinters

    man haters always gonna be hatin’

  6. Joe

    Baby Blu on Blu Luvmobile. Offer $4998.99, pray you are high bidder, and always wear blue suede shoes while driving.

  7. misterlou

    For all the haters out there, the front suspension design lives on in so many hot rod builds.

  8. CapNemo

    I really like that shade of blue!

  9. casey

    I get that they had nothing under the hood and even the mighty King Cobra was only 130hp but to me that’s were the hate stops. honestly I think they are a rather attractive car considering the decade. in my opinion it’s looks scream mustang. I would take this and find some mags and a good 302 or 351 and this thing would be a sweat 1970s hotrod

  10. KevinW

    I never had a problem with this style of Mustangs. I’ve owned two ’65 fastbacks, and a ’67 coupe. While not crazy about the ghia, I had a pro street fastback that I thought looked pretty cool. Was a fan of the old Gapp and Roushe car.

  11. ccrvtt

    In 1974 Plymouth produced 11,734 Barracudas; Ford produced 385,993 Mustang II’s. Apparently Ford understood the market. The original Mustang was based on the Falcon, a good basic economy car. Wrap it in the Mustang body and it looked cool.

    This car definitely doesn’t look like the homogeneous offerings from the present, in shape or in color. I like Mustang II’s – and so did over a million new car buyers between 1974 & 1978.

    I owned a 1998 Mustang convertible for 10 years & absolutely loved that car. It was nothing more than what it was – an inexpensive, over-styled, relatively underpowered fun-to-drive car. Which just about describes the original concept of the Mustang. Remarkable find.

  12. Racingpro56 Member

    Those were dark times indeed. No redeeming qualities other than aforementioned front suspensions. 90 horsepower Mustangs? No nostalgiac memories here.

  13. Rock On

    Thanks Scotty, song is still in my head! Can’t believe how many new pets they have added since I was a kid.

  14. Howard A Member

    I absolutely love it. I can only hope, people that hate this car, don’t go out and buy a newer Mustang, because, and I’ve said it before, without this car, you may not have your precious new Mustang. Seems like I’m always defending cars like this, and I can only think, people that don’t like these cars, don’t understand what was happening in the 70’s to the American auto scene. Compared to what ( common) Europeans were driving, this would be a Cadillac to them. The V6 sweetens the deal, ( V8 was too much) although, I believe, it still had that “Pinto” 4 speed, that left a lot to be desired. This is the nicest Mustang ll I’ve seen in a long time.
    (side note: on Scotty’s comment about H-D riders not liking other bikes, I’ve had both, and that was my biggest gripe about H-D riders, is, to them, everything else is crap, and that simply isn’t true. While the wife drives a “RAV4”. It’s one of the main reasons I sold my H-D)

  15. JW

    Wife had a new 78 Cobra and we loved it, the Ghia was more for the conservative type which at that time we were not. Ford made what people needed not wanted at the time and it worked well for them, sales of the Mustang II were better than most of the other offerings during the economic & energy crisis. These cars have kept the Mustang name alive for 53 years. The hood pins are not stock but otherwise this is a very nice car.

  16. irocrob

    I do not love it or hate it. Seems like a real nice car for the money and I would drive and enjoy it. I do like the color.

  17. Sam

    Which one of Charlie’s Angels drove it? I appreciate it for what it is…great find!

  18. rando

    I love it. Ok, like it. I liked the M2 when I was a kid. Still do. And appreciate that the M2 was Ford’s way of getting back to the original Mustang premise. By 73, the Mustang was bloated beyond saving. It got bigger and bigger each generation. So with the times, the M2 was a way to get back to the original idea that was so successful. Folks don’t like them now, but Ford sold millions of them. Thereby keeping the nameplate alive.

  19. 68 custom

    my sister had a well used used Ghia equipped with the 302/C4 combo and it was a reliable beater. this one looks good but I would still prefer the V8. as fat as Mustang II s go this one is about as nice as they get!

  20. BillB

    A mild cam, 4bbl and headers can easily make 180-200hp in the Cologne V6. A T-5 would sweeten it further. These cars also handle very well.

  21. KevinR

    I liked the ’71 to ’73 Mustangs and I like the ’74 to ’78 Mustang IIs. Not a big fan of a notchback Ghia, but Jaclyn Smith did drive one in Charlies Angels…

    Honestly, when was the last time you saw a Mustang II in person, let alone one in this condition?


    Umm i’ts cha cha cha CHIA not ghia. I’ve never seen one in this color. Looks like fun to me

  23. RichS

    First engine change I ever did by myself was in one of these when the intake manifold coolant passages rotted out and milkshaked the oil of my cousin’s ’77 Ghia.

    That engine had so much crap hung all over it, once I stripped that all off the long block itself was remarkably tiny.

    That scoop and hood pins are not original.

  24. On and On Gregg Member

    As the ads said, Mustang II, boredom 0.

  25. Pappy2d

    Agree that the wheel choice made these cars look toy like. Another inch of outward offset, and diameter, the car doesn’t look like it’s teetering on its rolling stock.

  26. RJ

    Great color. Color matched wheels are even great. Seats would be sexier in white. White trim on the upper doors would have to go. Shame about the wheezy V6 and the luggage rack.

  27. Frank

    Bought a 74 2+2 Fastback when I was 19, first new car. V6 four speed competition suspension, took most of the pollution crap off it & had no problem beating bloated 71-73 Mustangs with the 302 (except Boss’s). It was a car of its time, traded in a 69 Sport Fury with a 383 Super Commando on it as I didn’t think I could afford premium gas at 75 cents per imperial gallon any more.

  28. Sam Griffith

    these cars can be beefed. i have a 75 fastback photo-type with 5,800 miles. v6 turbo-charged with alcohal- water injection. all gauges are in dash, not hanging below. 6 point roll cage & racing seat belts, no shoulder harness. 14 inch mags & 60 series tires. orig had 50,s. 4 speed & according to internet article is pushing 300 hp. ( look up 75 mustang photo-type) also the body is tubed at the fenders to allow for the bigger tires. it has side scoops that force air to the rear brakes & shark gills behind front tires to vortex air to front brakes . does not say ford or mustang anywhere on body. 1 of a kind mustang . it was partially restored and is now a show car appraised at 20,000 before any restoration was done. also its for sale. there a few 5/0,s licking there wounds in my co. & i never used the a&w system to do it. i have plenty of pics.

    • JW

      Post a few I would like to see them.

      • sam

        not sure how many i can post. i tried to post 1 but i don,t see it. i can e/m all you want.

    • JW

      OK Sam send me a couple to and thanks in advance.

  29. Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely looking car. I’ve never understood the dislike Mustang enthusiasts seem to have had for the Mustang II, but I’ve always liked it. I’ve always found it the most attractive Mustang since the 1965 Mustang. My only complaint is that there are not enough photos of this car. The more photos the better.

    • RS

      Like too many vehicles of the period, they shrunk the body by 1/3 but shrunk the ‘greenhouse’ by only 10%, so they have a big-head-cartoon-character look to them. Like something Sherman and Mr. Peabody would drive.

  30. sam

    thank you.i have plenty of photos. didn’t know how many i could post. would be happy to send you more. you will never see another like it.

    • Car Nut Tacoma

      If you could post more photos of the Mustang II, that’d be awesome! I used to see Mustang IIs when I was a boy in the 70s and early 80s. Mostly the fastback version and the Cobra. It’s a shame that it was sold during the oil crisis, with emissions controls choking the life out of their performance and compromising quality and reliability.

  31. RS

    I had that same engine in a Ford Ranger and I always thought it felt like the crankshaft was made of rubber. Hated it.

  32. Hammer

    I would far rather have a Mustang II than any 64.5 to 68 Mustang. I have driven both and the Mustang II was far superior to any rebodied Falcon I have ever seen, in fact I would much prefer any falcon up to ’68 than any early Mustang. The best looking early mustangs were the 69 & 70 notchbacks, I never liked fastbacks. the restyled 71, 72, & 73 were the best looking before the 74 MII. I have worked on Fords for years the only Ford I have ever owned was a 1971 base ($1995) Pinto and that was much superior to than any early Mustang. GM is the far superior brand.

    • Jason

      I agree. I had a neighbour who had a Mustang II like the one in the ad.


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